EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 12, 2013

Derry town administrator waives arraignment

Anderson charged with indecent exposure

By Doug Ireland

---- — DERRY — Instead of answering to charges in court yesterday that he exposed himself to a salesman and made unwanted sexual advances, Town Administrator John Anderson was nowhere to be seen.

Anderson, 50, waived his arraignment in 10th Circuit Court on two indecent exposure and lewdness charges.

His attorney, James Rosenberg, filed the request Thursday, so Anderson was not obligated to make his first public appearance since his arrest in August. A not guilty plea was filed on his behalf.

When reached by telephone at his Derry home yesterday afternoon, Anderson hung up without commenting.

Meanwhile, the Town Council has yet to decide whether it will retain or dismiss Anderson.

Councilors have scheduled an hour-long meeting with the town attorney and a half-hour nonpublic session for Tuesday night. The two closed-door meetings, at 6 and 7 p.m., will be held before the council’s regular meeting.

Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau, selected by the council as the only person who can speak on Anderson’s situation, said yesterday afternoon he could not comment on whether the issue would be discussed Tuesday night.

Anderson has been on administrative leave since July 12, one day after an alleged incident at his Lane Road home involving a satellite TV salesman.

The salesman told Derry police Anderson made sexual advances toward him during a sales call at the town administrator’s home.

Anderson exposed himself to the salesman, asked him to take off his clothes and then masturbated in front of him, according to a police affidavit. The salesman immediately left.

Shortly after Anderson’s arrest, the council began its own inquiry of the matter. Budreau had said he expected a decision on Anderson’s employment with the town to be made by Sept. 30.

But after a nonpublic session Oct. 1, Budreau said the inquiry was taking longer than anticipated.

Budreau said yesterday he expects the matter to be resolved by the end of the month. He also said the town had not been notified that Anderson waived his arraignment.

Councilors met with Anderson and his attorney for nearly two hours behind closed doors Sept. 11 without taking any action.

Budreau would only say at the time that Anderson was “eager to come back” and that Anderson’s employment and criminal case were separate issues.

It was the first meeting between the council and Anderson since his arrest. Anderson and his lawyer slipped in and out of the Municipal Center virtually unnoticed.

Rosenberg, an attorney with the law firm Shaheen and Gordon, notified the court last week that he be would representing Anderson instead of attorney Cornelius Sullivan of Groton, Mass. No reason for the change was stated in court documents.

Rosenberg could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Anderson’s three-year contract ends Oct. 25. If he is fired “for cause” before then, he is entitled to six months of severance pay, according to his contract. He does not receive that pay otherwise.

“Cause” includes being convicted of a felony and gross negligence in carrying out his employment obligations. Anderson, town administrator since 2010, earns $124,962 a year.

Anderson was initially on paid leave, then placed on unpaid leave by the Town Council following a unanimous vote Aug. 20.

He surrendered to authorities Aug. 28, nearly two weeks after an arrest warrant was issued by state police. He remains free on $2,000 personal recognizance. No further court hearings have been scheduled.